previous next

Who saw so keenly and so well could paint
The village-folk, with all their humors quaint,—
The parson ambling on his wall-eyed roan,
Grave and erect, with white hair backward blown;
The tough old boatman, half amphibious grown;
The muttering witch-wife of the gossip's tale,
And the loud straggler levying his blackmail,—
Old customs, habits, superstitions, fears,
All that lies buried under fifty years.
To thee, as is most fit, I bring my lay,
And, grateful, own the debt I cannot pay.

Over the wooded northern ridge,
     Between its houses brown,
To the dark tunnel of the bridge
     The street comes straggling down.

You catch a glimpse, through birch and pine,
     Of gable, roof, and porch,
The tavern with its swinging sign,
     The sharp horn of the church.

The river's steel-blue crescent curves
     To meet, in ebb and flow,
The single broken wharf that serves
     For sloop and gundelow.

With salt sea-scents along its shores
     The heavy hay-boats crawl,
The long antennae of their oars
     In lazy rise and fall.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: